From Everton’s traditional z-cars whistle to Leyton Orient favouring some 60’s jazz with Herb Albert’s Tijuana Taxi all clubs have their own signiture entrance music as kick off approaches. Here Rob Wilson offers some alternatives….

Whether it is cleanly broadcast over the impressive loudspeaker system of a state of the art football arena, or the piercing speakerphones of Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold Stadium, music is there to create atmosphere at a game – well, that’s the theory anyway. Usually it’s completely ignored as the latest insipid dross from a boy band that look like a girl band is drowned out by the banter between home and away supporters.

As kick-off approaches however music’s role shifts from background twaddle to a familiar coda to arms as the fans have to be made aware that kick-off is close by – as if they didn’t know already. Ten minutes to kick off is normally indicated with a song featuring a heavy bassline in minor key, an incredibly serious, heart-racing instrumental melody dancing over it, accompanied unintentionally by the increasingly loud inane chatter of the football fans stood around the pitch – who now realise they have to rush through their pies and pints if they’re to have a chance of seeing the kick-off. Your club’s choice of entrance music blares out and, with a Pavlovian response built up from hundreds of previous home games, the butterflies are released in your belly.
Here are what I believe clubs should be walking out to.

Manchester City

I’ve had a season ticket at Manchester City since 2003, and for years now, Manchester band Doves have recorded songs that are blasted over the Tannoy system for the fans to enjoy (or endure, depending on their viewpoint). In the first few years at the City of Manchester Stadium – more specifically during the reigns of Kevin Keegan and Stuart Pearce – an instrumental version of Doves’ song ‘Live for City’ echoed around the terraces due to its connection with the club’s new ‘Live 4 City’ campaign. But the Doves song used now by Manchester City ten minutes before kick-off is an instrumental version of their single ‘Pounding’, which has no real connection to City, other than the fact that Doves are a local band.

The PA system at City has also given us ‘Spread Your Love’ by the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless, ‘Nightmare’ by Brainbug and ‘Blue Moon’ by Supra a really good go. But there is one song that has been used twice for long spells, which remains popular amongst the City faithful – ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fatboy Slim.

According to some Manchester City fans, ‘Right Here, Right Now’ made its first appearance at Wembley Stadium in the year of its release – 1999. The players of Manchester City and Gillingham walked out to its popular chords, and because City won the game in dramatic fashion, with Paul Dickov scoring an injury time equaliser to take the game to extra time and a penalty shootout (a penalty shootout that City won) it was adopted by Manchester City Football Club and given near anthem status. But when they moved to the City of Manchester Stadium, it disappeared – replaced by the previously mentioned ‘Nightmare’ by Brainbug and ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless. But in 2009 – if I remember rightly – it returned! Much to my pleasure and surprise. I even think City beat West Ham 3-0 in that game, when Elano and Stephen Ireland were pulling the strings in midfield for Mark Hughes’ team.

My choice for Manchester City’s entrance music is ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fatboy Slim.

Stockport County

Stockport County are in a lot of trouble at the moment. They sit mid-table in the Blue Square Premier with just three players in their current team remaining from last season’s disastrous campaign, they’re in a perilous financial situation, and their impressive new pitch is about to be cut to pieces by the harsh, grinding studs of 20 stone Sale Sharks players – who then blame Stockport County’s players for the poor state of the pitch. Things aren’t looking good.

At the moment, according to one Stockport County fan I know, the team come on to the pitch to the sound of ‘Fire’; the song was a hit in 2010 for English rock band Kasabian. The Leicester rockers have had a lot of their material used for football advertising purposes in the past, and being huge Foxes fans, I’m sure they’d be very happy to know that another football club has used their song/writing talent to gee up the fans.

Ryan Tedder and Stockport County are not that different; they just hit bankruptcy at different points in their lives.

But it is with their financial difficulty that my decision over their entrance music derives; in 2007, a band from America known as OneRepublic hit the big time with their debut single, ‘Apologize’. But it is their successful second single, ‘Stop & Stare’, that I’m going to choose for Stockport County to run out to. It may not be a hair-raiser, and it may not exactly get the blood going, but I like the song, and I’m writing this article, so if you have any problems, tough doo-doo.

I’ve chosen this one because of what OneRepublic’s lead singer, Ryan Tedder, said when he was asked about why he wrote the song; “Stop & Stare was written from the point of total desperation – I was beyond broke, I kept getting eviction notices and I really felt like I was watching my life passing me by.” Basically, Ryan Tedder and Stockport County are not that different; they just hit bankruptcy at different points in their existence.

My choice for Stockport County’s entrance music is ‘Stop & Stare’ by OneRepublic.

Valencia CF

Staying with financial stress, I thought I’d choose Spanish club Valencia. Since they’ve attempted to build a new stadium, the recession has hit, the owner seems to have turned into an overly honest psycho and they’ve employed a manager whose hand signals are crazier than former Valencia manager, Rafael Benitez. But they’re not in a total mess. Despite seeing the back of star players David Silva and David Villa, Valencia still managed to finish 3rd, behind Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain’s La Liga, despite having a severely weakened squad.

Bats are visually blind, but they paint pictures in their minds – with their high screeches – to create a mental image of the landscape in front of them.

Valencia, as much as I like them, do the very thing in football that annoys me most. They play music after they score a goal. And it’s not just any old music, oh no. It’s the theme tune of Pirates of the Caribbean. You know the one! You can’t do a simple foot-tap dance to it; you can’t sing along to it; in fact, all you can do is sit there and listen. Music in football is supposed to add atmosphere, not take it away! I don’t know. I said their owner was a psycho.

My choice for Valencia’s entrance music comes from their rather scary, yet rather cute, mascot – ‘Batty’ (he’s on the right, cute isn’t he?) You’d think I’d choose the Batman theme, but I’ve decided to be a little different and go for a song that’s bat related, but not much to do with Batman. I’m going to go with a song about blindness. Bats are visually blind, but they paint pictures in their minds – with their high screeches – to create a mental image of the landscape in front of them – or something like that. Clever, eh?

I’ve chosen ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ by rock band Dio, headed by former Black Sabbath member Ronnie James Dio. The song talks of blindness and finding your way through the dark (albeit metaphorically) – a little like a bat does. It’s got a good 80s glam-rock synthesizer heavily interlinked into the instrumentation, and I’ll bet the Valencia fans would love to head-bang after Valencia’s new signing Pablo Piatti.

My choice for Valencia’s entrance music is ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ by Dio

Lech Poznan

Lech Poznan is a Polish football team. They have a loyal following like every other football team, but their fans have a unique way of encouraging their team in a lively manner. They bounce up and down with their arms around each other and shout random things. This has been named by the English press as ‘The Poznan’.

What else could we use? ‘Jump’ by that band that Girls Aloud covered? Not a chance in hell.

It was in 2010, that Lech Poznan visited Manchester City in the Europa League group stages and brought ‘The Poznan’ with them. Manchester City quickly adopted their bouncing and used it to celebrate every goal they scored after this fixture. To Lech Poznan, I say thank you, for ‘The Poznan’ has given Manchester City’s fans a good excuse to get some exercise and have a bit of fun at the same time!

My selection has to be ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain. What else could we use? ‘Jump’ by that band that Girls Aloud covered? Not a chance in hell.

My song choice for Lech Poznan to walk out to is ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain.

What song would I love any team to walk out to?

I have thousands of songs that I love. I honestly wouldn’t mind my team walking out to the heavy crashes of ‘Deliver Me’ by Parkway Drive or the well-known dance classic ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless. Anything to get the blood going and get the fans excited for the game!

My song choice comes from the beginning of the second half in the match between Manchester City and Swansea from this season. The score was 0-0, despite the chances City had missed in the first half.

As the teams arrived for the second half, a song very popular with the City following eliminated any talk of football. ‘Transmission’ by Joy Division almost stunned the place into silence. There’s nothing like an old Manchester classic to get the fans’ blood racing.

Manchester City went on to win the game 4-0, with two goals from debutant Sergio Aguero. And if ‘Transmission’ can change the fortunes of City for one half of one game imagine what it could do if it was played at the very start of the match!

Music plays a huge part in football, and I hope I’ve put my point across to you all and convinced you that I’m right. What am I saying? Of course I have.

Much love. Love music.

You can read more by Rob Wilson on music here or his previews and reviews of all City games here